Desperately seeking Dawn and Celia

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UK man Richard Cook is in Perth for three weeks and is searching for the local family that looked after his dad during World War II.

His father Bernard Cook was billeted here for the Royal Navy during 1944 and stayed with the Rickard family in Welshpool.

While Mr Cook senior was a private sort he did say “they were a very warm, loving family who took care of him”.

“This is a plea through the media… if any of the family are still here then please get in touch,” Mr Cook says.

Originally from Dorsett, the Rickard family had two daughters: Dawn and Celia who are likely still around today. The parents’ names are unknown, but Mr Rickard served in the Royal Flying Corp in a squadron possibly called the Hells Angels in the Great War, then was captured by the Japanese in World War II. Almost one-third of prisoners died in Japanese custody, and Mr Cook’s notes say Mr Rickard’s survival is “unknown”.

Mr Cook says he wants to meet up with his father’s lost hosts “just to join up the circle really, to touch base with the family… to say thank you”. He says his dad “always speaks extremely highly of the Australian people, and with great affection”. If you know a Dawn or Celia Rickard, call the Chook on 9430 7727 and we’ll put you in touch with Mr Cook. He’s in town for two more weeks.

by DAVID BELL

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